Paris – French led peace talks on the Middle East have been set for June 3 after a scheduling conflict scuttled the initially intended date of May 30, the French Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
The ministerial-level talks are to include representatives of the Quartet, which includes the U.S., Russia, the UN and EU, as well as representatives from Arab and European nations.
The first date was postponed to accommodate the schedule of the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said it would be an opportunity to reaffirm the mobilisation of the international community in favour of a two-state solution, and to identify ways to help Israelis and Palestinians return to the path of peace.
The initiative is to convene important partners, but exclude Israeli and Palestinian authorities.
The French hope that beginning with non-direct talks could help ease the way for an agreement later.
However, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has said his country is opposed to an international conference, insisting on direct negotiations.
The Palestinians have however welcomed the French effort. ((dpa/NAN)